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The Essential Syreeta

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Album Review

The reissue labels were never very kind to Syreeta, resulting in the sad fact that compilations remain the best (if not the only) way to hear what made her recordings so special. The Essential Syreeta is the best of a tiny lot, with a passable selection of material from her '70s and '80s records. For some unknown reason, the compilers virtually ignored her fine 1972 debut; only two songs are included, one of them (fortunately) her sweet, grooving remake of Stevie Wonder's "I Love Every Little Thing About You" (first heard earlier that year on Stevie's Music of My Mind). The collection does a much better job with 1974's Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta, presenting her best songs ("Spinnin' and Spinnin'" and "Your Kiss Is Sweet," both written with Wonder) as well as three other solid tracks. Most of the rest comes from the period 1977 to 1981, when she recorded some good work — like the R&B hits "Harmour Love" and "Let's Make a Deal" — but never approached her early-'70s heyday. The final blow is the absence of "With You I'm Born Again," her fine hit duet with Billy Preston from 1981. Yes, it's recommended, but that's only until a real compilation comes along.

Customer Reviews

Grossly underated artist

This is an excellent compilation, and a great price, but as i-Tunes said...........i wish we could have all the original Syreeta albums available. Unique and sadly missed.

God Bless Syreeta


Born: 03 August 1946 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

One of Motown's more underappreciated female vocalists, Syreeta is best known for her association with Stevie Wonder during his creative peak in the '70s. Born Rita Wright in Pittsburgh, Syreeta was raised mostly in Detroit, and started out at Motown as a secretary who did session vocals on the side -- much like Martha Reeves. As Rita Wright, she recorded her debut single, the Ashford & Simpson composition "I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel for You," in 1967. She met Stevie Wonder the following year,...
Full bio
The Essential Syreeta, Syreeta
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